Justin Riggins, who owns an automotive repair shop and a large piece of land about 45 miles northwest of Indianapolis, led a group of family members and friends to paint a 10,686-square-foot version of the “Old Glory.”
Riggins, who is “very patriotic,” told CNN that he “wanted to recognize there are a lot of heroes on the frontlines.”
He added that “With everything that everyone is going through in this pandemic, I wanted something positive for people.”
Riggins, who wanted to pay tribute to the heroes who were doing everything possible to keep us safe amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, admitted to WTHR that he “thought how cool it would be to have a huge flag for everyone to see and be proud of.”
On May 1, Riggins and a group of volunteers met on the field for two hours to carefully plan the execution of the painting.
The following day, he and his team took 30 gallons (approx. 114 liters) of environmentally friendly red, white, and blue paint to make the massive flag, which measures 78 feet high and 137 feet wide. Each of the red and white stripes, which represent the 13 original colonies, measured 6 feet tall, according to a Facebook post by Riggins.
The entire flag took about five hours to paint.
While it was a huge endeavor, Riggins said, “I absolutely love our country and our flag!”
In addition to being a patriot, Riggins also wanted to pay tribute to the property’s former owner, who served in the United States Marine Corps as a tank officer during the Korean war.
“There is also a legacy I’m trying to keep going,” Riggins said. “My property used to be the former Ropkey armor museum that my friend and mentor Fred Ropkey owned.”
The Ropkey museum first opened in 1982 and showcased the country’s largest collections of military vehicles that were all curated by Ropkey according to the Tank and AFV News, a blog that publishes information on tanks and armored vehicles. The museum drew veterans and military aficionados from all over the country.
When Ropkey passed away in 2013 and the museum closed in August 2017, his service to the country and patriotism hadn’t been forgotten by Riggins.
Riggins, who wanted to create something that people could see from the air, hopes that the flag will serve as an inspiration to people. “We need something positive right now,” the patriot told CNN. “We are all in this together.”
As reported by WTHR, Riggins, who did something like this for the first time, plans to keep the flag on the field throughout the year and will give it a fresh coat of paint on July 4.
As the world is currently enveloped by the pandemic, this massive flag serves as a symbol of hope in these unprecedented times.